Saturday, May 11, 2024

Heather du Plessis Allan: We need to rethink whether this is the kind of country, and electricity system we want to be running

I'll tell you what, this morning I woke up at seven basically on the dot and when I looked at the time, I thought jeez, it's seven and I pulled my charger out of my phone because just so that I wasn't the one who tipped the entire country into darkness. 

It was a relief, wasn't it, that we managed to make it, make it through two hours this morning without the power going out. 

Apparently, according to Transpower, it's basically the reason that we managed to do it is because we all chipped in. 

We all did our bit, the major electricity users did there. 

But in between all of us, we managed to save about 260 megawatts in terms of demand. And that's actually not a bad effort by us, because, yesterday the forecast was that they were going to be down 200 megawatts. 

So, we did pretty well. But we need to talk about this because this is not going to be the last time this year that we get this message and that we have to rally and pull our phones out of the chargers, take the bike off the charge. Do not put the kettle on, do not put the dishwasher on, do not put the washing machine on, do not heat rooms you're not in and turn all the lights out. This is basically what it's going to be like this winter and it's probably going to be like this for many winters ahead of us.

 The reason for that is because we're trying to go green. Basically, we're trying to run on solar, wind and water. And if you do that, if there's not enough solar wind or water, you basically, the only other thing you can do is stop the demand, turn everything off. 

And the other thing also, which is a major problem is that we're running out of gas and we're running out of gas really fast, like alarmingly fast, we're running out of gas. Now, bear this in mind when we pulled our charges out of our phones this morning and turn the lights out, that did make a difference. 

But that was small beer compared to what was actually making the difference, which was Tiwai Aluminum Smelter, cutting its electricity use and Methanex using less gas and industry basically pulling less electricity out of the system. 

What that means is that we had to go to all of these big money-making companies in this country and ask them to stop working and they did, which means that for those two hours. 

And however long it took them to, you know, power things down and then power things back up again, which in the case of the Tiwai aluminum smelter would I imagine be hours. 

It means they made less money. 

Which means because a lot of them are exporters, the country made less money because of this morning's power shortage. 

Now, maybe once you know, happens on the ninth, 10th of May 2024 you don't really care all that much.   

But if you're doing this multiple times a year and you are doing this multiple years, that stuff adds up. We are literally, we are literally becoming poorer as a country because we cannot rely on our electricity. That's pretty third world, isn't it? That's weird.

Did we choose this? Oh, yes. That's right. Some of us did. Some of us wanted to do this. This was a choice. We need to rethink.  

I would suggest we need to rethink really quickly, whether this is the kind of country we want to be running, whether this is the kind of electricity system we want to be running.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show HERE - where this article was sourced.


Valid Point said...

Next time this happens, there is a simple way to save megawatts. Simply shut down the power in the Rongatai, Wellington Central and Ponsonby electorates. Given their voting preference, they won’t mind the opportunity to return to the dark age.

Anonymous said...

Just preparing us for " climate lockdowns" is all this is. That will be the next thing. More control over us. Stuff them. Don't stop using power. You pay for it. It's not free. We are meant to be a first world country. Let them turn it off and have embarrassing headlines around the world so then they will have to do something about it.

Chuck Bird said...

Luxon is either as stupid as the Greens or is following polls and focus groups. The is no way NZ can supply enough power with solar panels and wind turbines now let alone in the future with an increased population and more EVs.

I would not mind the temperature a little warmer on winter mornings.

Anonymous said...

Most of what are recognised as "environmentally acceptable" generation technologies are simply unfit for purpose with hydro being the only exception that can (generally) provide 24/7 delivery independently of immediate weather and time of day. Both windfarms and solar farms are visibly abhorrent and unless more hydro is developed NZ will have to embrace the nuclear option.. end of story!

Anonymous said...

Lol, agree with valid point! Just shut everything down for the lunatic lefties. Oh no, wait, the rules only apply to everyone else....not the left. Hypocrites.

Richard Brown said...

Latest from Transpower, Wind Generation Capacity 1259MW actual power generated 233MW. So wind is operating at 18.5% of installed capacity.
Not bad if we only build 25 times more turbines we could possibly get by with hydro as back up. That won’t cost much or be visually awful.

Ross said...

Richard, the 18.5% is about the usual percentage of installed capacity for wind farms around the world.
They always push the installed capacity figure as part of their con and that is what it is, a gigantic con.
It is time the average Kiwi had their eyes opened about what is going on.

Richard Brown said...

My point entirely Ross, I thought 18.5% was pretty good.
This morning out of our 1259MW installed capacity we are getting a miserable 112MW or 8.9%. Lucky it’s Sunday and not too cold

Anonymous said...

The country would reduce electrical demand if homes were better insulated. Rather than waste money providing interest free loans for heat pumps which all end up as landfill in 10 years (that's a big con job that is still being sold) We would be better off installing double or triple glazing at affordable prices. Wind farms are a bloody eyesore and a blot on the landscape, they are not a green energy source and also end up in landfill in 25 years. Nuclear energy is the likely the future. So long as the turbines keep turning preferably by hydro systems and EVs are eventually consigned to history as a quaint idea we might get by.